Tag: ‘tax expenditures’

Incoming Senate Finance Chair Wyden Outlines His Tax Agenda

By :: February 10th, 2014

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), about to become the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Friday that he aims to eventually rewrite what he described as a “dysfunctional, rotting mess of a carcass that we call the tax code.” But in an acknowledgement of the challenges of tax reform, Wyden said he wants to […]

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Taxes: A Big Gun In The War on Poverty

By :: January 16th, 2014

When Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty 50 years ago this month, he could not have imagined how many battles would be fought through the Tax Code. In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, the safety net was built almost entirely on spending programs.  Back then, policymakers created Medicare, Medicaid, student loan programs, and Head […]

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A New Look at Who Benefits from Tax Expenditures

By :: December 19th, 2013

Who benefits from the tax credits, deductions and exclusions that have become such an integral part of the modern tax code? Nearly all of us. And that’s why any tax reform that eliminates or scales back many of these preferences in return for lower tax rates is so hard to do. The Tax Policy Center […]

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Whither the Tax Extenders?

By :: December 10th, 2013

In three weeks, more than 60 expiring tax provisions will…expire. At least for a while. It isn’t unusual for these mostly-business tax breaks to temporarily disappear, only to come back from the dead a few months after their technical expiration. But this time businesses are more nervous than usual. Their problem: Congress may have few […]

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Analyzing Taxes and Transfers Together

By :: December 5th, 2013

Government redistributes income through tax and spending programs. Nearly everyone pays some tax – be it federal or state income taxes, payroll taxes, or sales taxes. The tax system also affects people by delivering a host of benefits through tax expenditures (subsidies like the mortgage interest deduction or the child tax credit).   And broad spending […]

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The Democrats Never-Ending Search for Tax Loophole Closers

By :: November 13th, 2013

Senate Democrats are circulating a list of a dozen tax “loopholes” they’d like to close as part of a budget package. It is unlikely that Republicans will agree to any of them except as part of broad tax reform, but it is worth taking a quick look at a few on their merits. Some represent […]

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Can Expiring Tax Provisions Save the Budget Talks?

By :: November 7th, 2013

There is lots of buzz around Washington about whether a laundry list of expiring tax provisions could be the key to a modest budget agreement. Sadly, it is hard to see how.   The theory goes like this: Democrats might agree to some cuts in programs such as Medicare if Republicans swallow some new revenues. […]

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As Budget Talks Start, Beware the Bogus Revenue Hikes

By :: October 31st, 2013

As House and Senate budget negotiators sit down (eight months late), the inevitable issue of new revenues has already raised its head. Predictably, Democrats insist that any fiscal deal include new taxes. Equally predictably, Republicans demand that it must not. But behind the scenes, Washington’s wink-and-nod crowd thinks it has a solution: Raise new tax […]

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Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

By :: October 22nd, 2013

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

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How Do High-Income People Avoid Paying Federal Income Tax?

By :: September 5th, 2013

Most of the 43 percent of Americans who the Tax Policy Center projects will pay no federal income tax this year make very little money. Some are middle-income households that qualify for enough tax preferences to zero out their tax bills. But more than 70,000 households with income over $200,000 will pay no federal income […]

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